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The Meaning of Life In a Barn Owl, of All Places

One winter night he flew through your window, a winged stranger that would change each one after that.


It was the dead of a winter night when I heard him break into my room. A trail of feathers circles around the bedroom floor, like he called this house his own. There he goes, staring into my soul with those ominous eyes as if he could anticipate my next move moments before I made them. Look at it tilt its stupid head, attempting to play the innocent bystander to the mess that it made. I muttered curses under my breath as I unlocked the window, pointing out to the night sky and gesturing to the stary bird like it was an unsolicited stranger. He hopped over to the windowsill and spread its majestic brown wings, and readied its little talons before it flew.


"Let me show you what it means to be alive" were his parting words, before he dashed off under the guise of the night. And I'll admit it with every fiber of my being- I was jealous. I admired every quality he had that I knew was not mine. I begged to be picked up by the calm breeze off my feet. I wished to take dips and dives without a single fear in the world. I desired to 'hoot' and 'squawk' away to my heart's desire. I adored his wings that let him reach every corner of the world. He was a marvel to admire as he swooped all around the night sky, not an ounce of worry in its furry gray body. He coursed threw the horizon like it might have been his last.


I wanted to be him. I wanted to live life in its truest form; the beauty of living is that it exists. To be alive is to just live. So ordinary, so basic, so straightforward. It's so idiotically simple that a barn owl got to it before me. For now, he knew its purpose. And yet I never got to thank him for finding mine.

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